The Call of the Wild

The leaves are starting to change color here, and every day for the next few weeks there will be a new vista of beautiful hues to admire. It’s no secret that I love leaves, and have incorporated them many times into my own designs. But I’m not the only one who finds them fascinating.

In our March/April 2013 issue Cynthia St. Charles shared some of her process for creating gorgeous quilts inspired by nature.

Cynthia says about her work “I rely on dye, fabric paints, hand carved printing blocks, and screen prints as the basis for my unique textile art. My compositions are rarely pieced. Instead, I frequently use hand dyed or hand painted whole cloth or create a fused collage as the foundation for my hand printed art quilts. In my current work, the entire surface is covered with block printing using my hand carved printing blocks as an expressive paintbrush. I love to carve my own printing blocks; I find the process both meaningful and meditative.”

Here are some samples of her work that include hand printed motifs inspired by nature.

Detail of Light in the Forest, ©Cynthia St. Charls
Last Light ©Cynthia St. Charles

Our September/October 2015 cover girl, Sue Reno, uses natural elements in a more direct fashion. She frequently incorporates cyanotype and heliographic prints of a variety of natural materials, most frequently leaves, into her distinctive work. Here’s a striking example.

Jack in the Pulpit ©Sue Reno

This past weekend I taught a screen printing class. At one point I casually mentioned that I’d seen some wonderful leaves on a sidewalk outside the building, and that perhaps they’d make a fun addition to the work we were doing. One of the students, Cathy Oliver, ran with this idea and created some of the most wonderful original fabrics I’ve ever seen.

©Cathy Oliver
©Cathy Oliver

Inspired? I hope so! Why not try a little nature inspired quilting of your own?

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